Delivered in Easter 2005, in this series of lectures entitled Sacrifice in a Secular World, Lloyd Geering asks us whether we are prepared to sacrifice our world, as the cover suggests, or are preparing to so so unknowingly. If so what for?
Musing over the human condition in our world today, particularly in our small New Zealand corner of it, leads to dark thoughts and fears such as the above. It leads to questions about our society, and fears for the future.
A check list of these thoughts and fears would cover such matters as peace and war, defence, the nuclear holocaust to come or not to come, the confrontation of the superpowers, the widening gulf between rich and poor, the worsening relations between employer and employee, our moral condition – including homosexuality and abortion – and, in our basically Christian society, the significance of the Cross, which to at least some of us denotes the supreme sacrifice.
It is fascinating that this ancient and sacred word – sacrifice – should be in almost everyday use in our writing and conversation, and on the lips of politicians, farmers, employers and employees. The word has indeed become secularised, but, as Lloyd Geering Shows, a study of the concept today and of its long history throws light into many of our dark corners.
His lectures touch on most of our worries, and give us strength to surmount them.
The conclusion to his fourth lecture, about those aspects of sacrifice which are enduring, is a real challenge to us all.
Sir Guy Powles (2005)
Each of the lectures can be read on its own. They are:
1 - Why make a sacrifice (Web page)
2 - Sacrificing Posessions (Web page)
3 - Sacrificing People (Web page)
4 - Sacrificing Ourselves (Web page)